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Saul Garlick

Saul Garlick

Posted: November 24, 2009 03:08 PM

Chase Giveaway Gets Hot & Facebook Becomes Charity Hub

What's Your Reaction:

Chase Community Giving on Facebook is no joke. They are doling out $5 million -- but only to nonprofit organizations that operate on less than $10 million a year. They are doing it in some pretty interesting -- and compelling -- increments: $25,000 goes to every organization that is in the top 100 list for votes received from November 15 until December 11. Another $100,000 will go to the top 5 and $1 million to the organization with the most votes. And they are reserving an extra $1 million for yet another oft-voted charity.

Chase is being very smart and crafty with this idea. Not only have they gotten everyone engaged with their brand, but they are promoting something good for society and using new media in the process. And here I am, publicizing the initiative.

I think this is a great model. But in the interest of full disclosure, I am the executive director of a nonprofit called ThinkImpact (formerly Student Movement for Real Change) and we are involved in this competitionVote for us here if you'd like!

There are some features about this campaign that I love, and a few that irritate me. First, I love the amount they are giving and to whom they are giving it. By targeting organizations under $10 million, they are sending help to some innovative, smaller or more community-based organizations that are feeling the pinch of an economy gone south. Additionally, they are giving all Facebook users a whopping 20 votes to pass around. But you can only vote once per charity.

My favorite part is that this contest promotes organizational cooperation. By allowing for 20 votes and 100 different winners at $25K, all the young nonprofits I work with are getting into the game. It’s brilliant. We are promoting each other’s work. We are encouraging folks to support causes we believe in, and we don’t feel that there is any zero sum game involved.

Here are the organizations that have teamed up in this effort:

Student Movement for Real Change (now ThinkImpact)
Atlas Service Corps, Inc.
Manna Project International
National Youth Rights Association
Service for Peace
Arlington Street People' Assistance Network, Inc.
Youth Venture

The irritating part? The contest has no leaderboard. You literally have to click around a lot just to see who is doing well at all. This is okay because then we are all forced to really reach out to folks, but there is simply no way of knowing if we are competitive at any given time. Also, we don’t get a comprehensive list of folks who voted for our causes, so we won’t know who cares about our mission to get them involved in the future.

Overall, I think this contest will bring out hundreds of thousands of voters, create a big stir, and ultimately, help a ton of organizations. Right now, with the holiday season here, and the economy tight, who wouldn’t want to give, without opening their wallet?

 

Follow Saul Garlick on Twitter: www.twitter.com/saulgarlick